I hear from parents regularly about their frustrations that although they set limits around their phones and game consoles when it’s time to do homework, they then have found out that the child/teen simply resumes their social media interactions and gaming on their homework device, i.e. tablets, laptops or desktops.

So you can be better prepared to stop these workarounds, I’ve outlined what popular apps and games work on which devices.

Learn More …

12 Screen-less Gift Ideas Children will Love

With every passing year finding presents for your children that don’t involve some sort of attention-demanding tech becomes more and more difficult.

A new phone. A new video game. There’s always something else that, if you buy it, can ultimately create friction between you and your child when you are trying to support less screen time.

Then, there’s the problem of making this gift, which can be seen as a compromise for some kids, as fun. After all, what good is a screenless present, if your child isn’t going to use it?

So to make this holiday a little easier on all you parents, for this Tech Talk Tuesday, I’ve created a list of more than a dozen great gifts that can really help you make this holiday season a win for both you and your child!

Start here


Volleyball Wrap-Up

Our volleyball program had 24 participants this year. Our JV squad, which was composed of both middle school and high school players, played a full schedule against both JV and some Varsity level schools. Many of our JV players are playing for the first time, and it is always exciting to see how the team progresses over the season. We start playing games soon after practice starts, so it is a crash course for many of the players. Every single player improved, and that is always the goal for this team. “The JV team had a great season with many role players and newcomers. The girls started the season undefeated, and continued to gain experience together, and built skills that improved throughout the season. I’m proud of the effort put into the season and I am looking forward to next season” says JV Coach Ashton Jones.

Our Varsity squad saw many changes this year. We had a large group of Seniors that worked really hard to bring the team together and supported the younger players. We were very balanced this year. In the beginning, it was all about figuring out who could help us the most in each position. Most of the girls that were on the starting line up were starters for the first time. We were fortunate enough to get many games in before district, so we were ready to be competitive once we got going. Our district was mixed up this year with all levels playing together. We beat all 1A and 2A schools and split with a large 3A school. This was our fifth district title in consecutive years. We ended the regular season with a third place seeding for the state tournament. We won our first game in the tournament and that put us in the semi-finals versus Boerne Area Christian Homeschoolers. We lost that game in four sets and were placed in the consolation game. We won that game versus Texas Christian to end our season with a 19-13-1 record.

I feel the biggest impact on our Varsity team was the leadership provided by the Seniors. This was a very unselfish class that always supported the younger players and themselves. I am thankful for strong leaders and the younger group of players that really stood out and have a bright future ahead. They have big shoes to fill, but I am confident they are ready to step up to the challenge. We are all thankful for the fans that came out to all of our games, and the noise they made to help elevate our play.

It was a season to remember and I am already looking forward to next year!

Go Wildcats!
Coach Amanda

Open House Programs

Mark your calendar and plan to attend our upcoming Open House Programs. They are grouped by level:

The High School Program will be held at 7814 Bobbitt, 77055. All other programs are at the main campus, 1321 Wirt Road.

The faculty of Woods Middle School will present a program to discuss and demonstrate the ways that Montessori philosophy impacts and promotes love of learning in 7th and 8th grade students.

Learn about College Prep curriculum in the Montessori environment. The Woods High School faculty and students discuss how Montessori education tenets and fundamentals apply to the older student.

In this evening event, the focus is on the Woods Upper Elementary Class. Faculty will discuss Montessori principles and educational experiences for grades 4, 5, 6.

See Montessori cross-age instruction in action for students in the first, second and third grades. After Pre-K and Kindergarten, children are ready for their step into a lifetime of learning.

The very foundation of Montessori education: you will observe how the fundamentals and specific lessons and materials of the Montessori system develop a child’s intellect from the earliest ages.

Please call 713-686-8811 for more information.

SCREEN AGERS – Growing Up in the Digital Age


Having weekly, short, calm conversations with your family about tech is so important. Tech Talk Tuesday (TTT), our weekly blog, offers you tools and tips for discussions. Families tell us it’s making a huge difference. Visit our website www.screen  to try one. It’s never too late to start a conversation about technology but often doing it in baby steps is more effective. —Delaney Ruston, MD. filmmaker of Screenagers

4 Basic rules to consider— (go to to find ways to enforce rules)

  1. No screens in bedrooms when kids and teens go to sleep (for younger kids keep screens out completely). Fact: 75% teens get inadequte sleep. The presence of devices disrupts sleep.
  2. Set time goals for studying without multitasking and then. also, take tech breaks. Fact: Multitasking is linked to less retention and poorer academic outcomes.
  3. Eat family meals without devices. Fact: Face—to—face conversations improve mood and empathy.
  4. Put phones and devices away in the car. Fact: More than half of kids report seeing their parents text while driving.

3 Tips to help your child build self-control

  1. Science shows that positive rewards work better than punishment. For example, if you observe your child focused while doing their homework without their device. praise them.
  2. Build times when tech is out of sight Self-control is hard, so decrease temptations.
  3. Use TTT to let your kids share with you about the reasons they like tech in their lives-the more they feel understood, the more they’ll work with you on tech limits.

Discussion questions

  • How much time do you think kids in the US spend looking at screens? (Kids spend an
    average of 6.5 hours a day on screens, not including classroom or homework.)
  • How much time do you think you spend each week on screen-related activities?
  • The film featured a study in which baby mice exposed to screen time developed fewer
    cells in the areas of learning and memory than non-exposed mice. 00 you think this is
    true for humans too?
  • Do you think violent video games desensillze people to violence?
  • What are some popular games that don’t involve violence?
  • Have you experienced people using screens to avoid face-to-face interactions? Do you
    ever make comments onllne that you wouldn’t make in person?

Resources at

  • Screen Time Contracts–Tips and screen time contracts templates. including Tessa’s
  • Parenting Apps—Tools that automatically turn off tech at certain times
  • Digital Citizenship——Links to help teach this at home and in schools
  • Parenting Tips—Ongoing practical advice from our blog, TTT and more

School of the Woods hosts SCREENAGERS

On September 29, 2018 at 9 AM, School of the Woods hosted a screening of SCREENAGERS in the Waltrip High School Auditorium. This award winning film delves into family discussions and struggles over social media, video games, and academics; offering solutions to help children, and adolescents, navigate the digital world.

There was a large audience of parents, children (recommended for 4th grade and above), caregivers, friends, and teachers.

What a Difference a Year Makes

In August of 2017, the Woods High School property was a green meadow.

At the writing (August 2018) the Bobbitt Lane site is the home of the new two story high school and gymnasium. The new structure is now “weathered in” and interior finishing is underway.

Construction crews are on the site daily routing the HVAC, completing the external brick work, installing windows, and many other tasks.

Construction Progress, July 24, 2018

The Family That Reads . . How it helps everyone

Adapted from “Tips for family reading”, Houston Parent, October 1995.

There is nothing like reading together to build the bond between parent and child. Such reading can greatly improve the child’s achievements in school and in life. In fact, it will shape the child’s language and emotional develop-ment, self- esteem, social skills and creative expression. Also, reading to your child is fulfilling and fun.

Parents who have books at home and who read to their children have children who are better readers and high achievers academically.

A Commission of The National Institute of Education reported, The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”

The US Department of Education stated, “What parents do to help their children learn is more important to academic success than how well-off their family is.”

Creating a love for reading is the cornerstone of your child’s education that will last a lifetime. Most importantly, teach your child that reading is the window to every opportunity in life.

The exploration of shared spoken language, the reading of the world through dialogue, is a vehicle for bringing change into the world.

These points are considered “truths” among experts in the field:

  • Children who are read to learn to read more easily than those who are not.
  • Reading to children helps build their curiosity, imagination, attention span, vocabulary and language skills. It also helps improve their spelling and writing abilities, promotes listening comprehension and helps them to think and communicate better.
  • Children’s ability to comprehend what they read very much depends on the knowledge they already have, so the more they are read to the more knowledge they will have in store for use in future reading.
  • Reading is a good conversational tool, providing parents and children with the opportunity to share thoughts and feelings. The child grows emotionally and important family bonds are built.
  • Reading to your children lets them know that you value reading as an important activity in your life.


    Some ways to achieve these goals:

    • Establish a routine for reading aloud – a daily activity which will become a habit.
    • Be proactive: move your finger under the words as you read; let your child turn pages with you; take turns reading paragraphs or pages; interject comments, such as “what do you think will happen next?”; look at and talk about the illustrations.
    • Let your children see you reading your own books – i.e., be a role model. Talk to them about the things you read.
    • Develop a family library – keep lots of books, magazines and newspapers and take them when you travel; give children books as gifts.
    • There is no limit to the kinds of material to read – children’s books, biographies, science, adventure, even mail order catalogues. And make regular library trips so that your child becomes familiar with it and what it has to offer.